The US economy is “regaining momentum” and has only a one in five chance of relapsing into recession, according to UK wealth manager Brewin Dolphin.
In the firm’s outlook for 2012 it says that the US is the “brightness in darkness” despite the ongoing crisis in the eurozone and the loss of economic momentum.
“We rate the chances of the US relapsing into recession at no more than one in five, if that, and, if anything, suspect that the economy will grow faster in 2012 than in 2011,” the firm's analysts said.
The firm’s positivity is derived from a number of factors including the Federal Reserve’s commitment to keeping interest rates where they are until the middle of 2013, steady job creation, bank lending to non-financial companies and a likely increase in investment activity.
The firm also points to the rapid increase in productivity which has been greater than in Europe and the weaker dollar. “We expect equity markets to gain support from a more encouraging outlook for the US economy,” the firm said.
Looking towards the emerging markets, it expects Japan to make “a small but positive contribution to global growth in 2012” as it recovers from the earthquake of last March. As in 2011, China is expected to contribute heavily to global growth.
“Europe faces a year of depressed economic activity,” said the firm. It expects the European Central Bank’s three year long-term refinancing initiative to help, but doubts that a solution to the fundamental issue of sovereign debt sustainability will be found in 2012.